Apr 29, 2011

OH FUDGE! – Sweet Origins & Giveaway

By: Amy Atlas, in Great Finds, Swag, Sweet Origins

Since sweets are a big part of my world, I am always researching different confections.  I am fascinated about the origins of the confections that we use on our tables.  Today, I’m sharing with you the “sweet origins” of fudge.  You may remember our Sweet Journey to Atlantic City last summer, when we sampled several varieties of fudge.  The fudge on the boardwalk was to.die.for. and enough to get me interested in the the origins of fudge.

Most believe the first batch was a result of an accidental “fudged” batch of caramels, hence the name “fudge”.  The secret to successful fudge is getting the crystals to form at just the right time so that the mixture becomes grainy.  If the crystals don’t form at the right time, then the mixture turns into a syrup called caramel.

The first documentation of fudge is from 1886, when a Vassar student named Emelyn Battersby Hartridge heard that her friend’s cousin was selling fudge for .40 cents a pound.  Emelyn got her hands on the recipe and made 30 Pounds of it for the Senior Class Auction. From that point forward, Fudge became a new confection after word spread to other women’s colleges.  Interesting fact – Smith and Wellesley schools then each developed their own recipe for fudge.

Then, in 1887, the first fudge store, Murdick’s Candy Kitchen opened in Mackinac Island, Michigan.   Murdick’s was the first store to use marble slabs which gave their fudge a unique taste.  To this day, Murdick’s uses the same recipe they used in 1887.  They boil all natural ingredients (including cream and sugar) in a copper pot and then pour the mixture on a marble table, where the fudge is shaped and hand sliced into a creamy confection.  The whole process takes about 35 minutes.

Guess what?! Ten lucky winners will receive a 1/2 pound of Murdick’s famous chocolate fudge.  Simply write why you love fudge and your first memory of eating fudge in the comment area and we will randomly pick the winners. Happy Fudging!

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  • Kim

    Fudge is yummmy! My first experience was when I was 10. My Godmom gave it to me =).

  • Kim C.

    My first experience was also with my grammy.. I think I was around 8.. I’ve never been able to recreate her recipe..

  • Diane

    Fudge is so decadent. The first fudge I remember eating came from an unlikely source… a karate instructor. Sensei made some great fudge!

  • I love how fudge melts in my mouth! My mom used to make fudge and I remember sneaking to the fridge with a butter knife to cut off a piece!

  • Amy

    I LOVE fudge!!! The way it melts in your mouth is heaven! My earliest memory is…as far back as I can remember, every year around Christmas time. I would stand on a chair in the kitchen and help my Mother make Walnut fudge. Very fond memories. Thanks for reminding me 🙂

  • My first memory of fudge is a little blurry. I was really young, but my Grandmother always made peanut butter and chocolate fudge for Christmas. We had huge family and friends get-togethers every Christmas Eve, and I always sneaked a piece of fudge before we ate. To this day, my Grandmother still makes fudge, just for me ;), every Christmas.

  • Adonna

    What is not to love? creamy, nutty, chocolate decadense… must get fudge…now!
    Fudge was a treat at my grandma’s 🙂 it was always there in spite of my mom’s pleas lol

  • RosannaC

    I love fudge because it is rich, chocolately and decadent! My parents used to buy me fudge at the local fairs and festivals when I was little. Its still one of my favorite treats to date!

  • Faye

    I love fudge because i love chocolate. Chocolate is therapy.

  • Lynda

    My favorite Aunt, who is also my godmother, invited me over to make fudge and trim the tree every Christmas when I lived in San Francisco. It is one of my very favorite Christmas memories!

  • Fudge is soooo tasty! I’m not sure of my first memory of eating fudge, but I can tell you that I love the fudge served at Cora’s!!!

  • dana

    my dad has asweet tooth and ever now and then he would bring home something to try,to divuldge into,good or bad.but the whole moment of sweet treats usually leaves an imprint in your brain :] he brought home this thing called fudge.ipicked it up with my hands,looked at it and asked what was in the thing to make it so heavy! it wasnt chocolate,it was somethin else to these filling chunks of joy,adding to my sweet tooth choices.thanks dad!i get very inspired looking through the glass case at disney world.

  • stacy

    fudge = christmas memories as far back as i can remember. there is nothing that transports me back to childhood and the magic of christmas time more than a piece of fudge-y goodness!

  • Kristy J

    Fudge=Chocolate=LOVE! My best memories of fudge are related to Christmas. My grandmother and my great aunt always made marvelous fudge and divinity.

  • Zhaleh

    I can’t remember a time I haven’t had fudge. It is a holiday staple as well as an everyday once-in-a-while treat. I love the richness of it…it is just so fudgy!

  • Kristen

    I adore fudge and the way it just melts in your mouth! It reminds me of the winter holidays where my mom, my sisters, and me would bake and make candy for family gatherings and presents. My first memory of tasting fudge I was three and my mom let me “test” the batch to make sure it had set.

  • Suzi

    My memories of fudge reach back to my grand mom. She was all things sweet. My mom would send my brother, sister and myself to stay with her for long weekends when we were young. My mom said that we always came back looking a little rounder! 🙂
    My grandmother would make her own fudge from scratch and it was so yummy to me. You mention the crystal formation above and I am not sure whether you are truely suppose to be able to feel that in the texture of fudge but that is what made my grand mothers so delicious and different from any other I have had since. It was slightly grainy but in such a good way. My mouth waters as I type!

  • michele mcdonald

    my very first memory of fudge was at christmas when i was little, my great grandmother made it & displayed it on a three tiered server.. 🙂
    and she always made some without walnuts for me & my little sister…

  • oh my goodness, well fudge reminds me of my Father as it’s his favorite (and mine!) and whenever I travel and run across a good fudge, I am always sure to bring some back for him. This fudge sounds absolutely delicious! My mouth is watering already 😉

  • AngelaW

    I have no idea the first time I ate fudge… I think that it was on vacation, when I was little. I have some vague memory of my Mom enjoying it and telling me about it. We probably stopped at some kitchy roadside stand that was all touristy. All I knew is that if it was chocolate I would enjoy it- and I did!

  • Jessica

    my {first} memory of having fudge is blurry, but i do know what a joy it was for my dad to make fudge every christmas. he’s not one for spending time in the kitchen, so i think my sisters and i were always a bit bewildered and excited when he set out to make fudge and infinity as his grandparent’s used to do.

    when i was 16 my parents packed us into a 27′ motor home and we toured the us for 2.5 months. mackinaw island was one of our stops (sans motorhome for that leg!) i remember all of us enjoying sweet fudge, riding cruisers and enjoying the stillness of mackinaw!

    • Jessica

      oops mackina(c)

  • Maria

    I love Maple Fudge!

  • Oh fudge. It is my ultimate confection of choice. The creamy-ness. The chocolately-ness. The melt-in-your-mouthy-ness. I don’t have a specific first memory but I can say that I am forbidden to make any because I have a fudge making curse. Really! So my wonderful husband indulges me and makes it to perfection, but would sure love to win some so I don’t have to wait for him to make it 🙂

  • Serena Locatelli

    I luv fudge!!!!! I remember making it with my mother at Christmas

  • I love fudge because of how rich and indulgent it is. My first memory with fudge was eating a bit of chocolate rum fudge as a child. I felt so sneaky and bad because I was eating something with liquor in it.

  • Kim

    As a kid my Dad would make fudge every year at Christmas. Sometimes it would turn out like sauce and other years it would be harder than a rock. I think he got it once or twice. No matter how it turned out it was good.

  • Aiiya Marsh

    My earliest memory of eating fudge would be when I was 5, my brother helped me to make some for our school gala and it was delicious…at least from what I can remember. Fudge, reminds me of him and how amazing he was as a brother.

  • oh sweet fudge — i love the divine texture with the lovely interruption of additives (nuts, chocolate chunks, mint).

    my earliest memory of fudge is ordering some from the local sweet shop with my mom MANY years ago — we still visit the sweet shop when i’m home!

  • Megan Manning

    I love fudge because it reminds me of Easter and my Meme. Every year her sorority gets togehter to make fudge eggs for a fundraiser during easter.

  • Beth

    My first taste of real fudge was in Door County Wisconsin at the Chocolate Chicken. What a surprise and delight to bite into this confection which was smooth and creamy and quite addictive! Pure chocolate joy!!

  • Fudge reminds me of Christmas and baking cookies and pies with my grandma every year 🙂

  • Elisa

    I used to love fudge and wine on a stressful day. Now it’s so sweet to see my little guy light up when he sees it and say fub instead of fudge!

  • I absolutely love the creaminess of fudge!
    It’s one of those decedent confections that can be served simple…or add a few more ingredients and it almost becomes gourmet!
    My first memory was only a few years ago when my Aunt Suzy made her ever so fabulous fudge during the Thanksgiving holiday. She made a whole cookie sheet and it was devoured within minutes!

  • ummm what’s not to like? 🙂
    Love mine with Lots ‘o nuts!!

  • mixing

    I first tried fudge when I first came to the US last year… in a hayride event during fall… I love sweet stuffs and fudge is just so irresistible!!

  • What’s not to love?!! 🙂 I really just love the way it melts in your mouth though! And, all I can remember from the first time I tried fudge is that I was a young girl and loved it!

  • Suzy McQ

    I love fudge because it combines sugar and cream, what could be better? My very first memory are the big copper kettles of fudge at the beach being stirred and stirred by really cute 16 year old guys at Copper Kettle Fudge at the shore in Avalon, NJ.

    Thanks so much for the yummy giveaway! My mouth is watering just thinking of it!

  • I’m a sugar fiend and chocoholic, so fudge really hits the spot for me. When I was little, there was an old-fashioned foods store called the Apple Mill, and they had a huge selection of fudge! They would also slice off pieces for guests to sample on request. My sister and I would always ask for about 5 samples each, every visit, but we were too little to have money and never bought a thing. I hope they didn’t mind!

  • Sheree Renee

    I love love love fudge. My first memory of eating fudge is my mom’s homemade extra chocolate fudge (which was always kind of on the hard side, but I still loved it!) :]

  • amber

    Sweets are my weakness and fudge is no exception. Fudge reminds me of going to the fair when I was young. We never left without some fudge to take home.

  • Katie

    Fudge is delicious and reminds me of the holidays! I think my first time eating it was after a neighbor gave it to us for Christmas.

  • I make a big batch every Christmas for my 29 year old son. I just make the easy kind, but I REALLY like well made real fudge.

  • Meg

    I’m marrying into a fudge family, that is, my family never made or even bought fudge so my first experience with it was in my fiances family. His grandmother makes a TON of fudge every Christmas and gifts it to friends and family. My fiance gets his own tin of the stuff!
    We would love to try Murdick’s!

  • My first memory of eating fudge is after making it with my mom at Christmastime, and who couldn’t love fudge, especially when attached to a memory like that?? Thanks Amy!

  • my first memory of fudge was when i was little on the boardwalk down at the jersey shore they have such cute old fashioned type candy stores

  • Cecily

    It’s creamy, rich and chocolaty. It is one of may favorite candies, but I can’t make it myself. It always turns out grainy or hard.

  • I don’t have a clear memory but would like to win it.

  • Lisa

    When I was a little girl I remember December’s filled with the smell of chocolate fudge and Christmas carols playing throughout the house. I Still have my love for fudge every December.

  • Love fudge!!! I think my first real memory of fudge is eating my Mother in Laws. She saves it for special occasions and I have been lucky enough to have known her all my life!!!

  • Melissa

    Love fudge! I am allergic to nuts, and when I was small and would visit my grandmother (“Nana”), she would always go out of her way to make a batch of fudge with no nuts just for me. This continued for years, to include when I went to college. I would often find a package of fudge in my mailbox in the middle of winter. Thanks for the chance!

  • Aubrey Stephenson

    I love how it just melts in your mouth…it’s so creamy! I don’t remember my first experience with fudge but I do associate it with the holidays as we would travel to my aunt and uncle’s in Tennessee every year and she always had homemade fudge in candy dishes around the house…it was so delicious!

  • OH FUDGE!
    Lovely dessert. Just cant descripe why love it so much.
    Maybe it´s the texture…so adorable fudgy and soft^^…or it´s the great chocolate taste…or the memory of holiday that alwys comes itnto my mind wehen I smell the great sweety…or maybe it´s just all together what makes it the best sweet treat of the world! (*^o^*)

  • Amanda

    My grandmother always made fudge at Christmas, chocolate and caramel. As an adult I have not been succesful making candy, but can hold my own with cookies. A couple of years ago my cousin agreed to trade me a box of fudge for a box of cookies at Christmas, all based on Grandma’s recipes…it was a lovely remembrance of Christmas treats as a child.

  • My grandma used to make fudge and add black walnuts from her tree. Though I didn’t care for the strong flavor of the black walnuts, now when I eat black walnuts, I think of her fudge. Who doesn’t love the creamy, rich taste and texture of fudge!

  • Nicole

    My Gammaw has been making fudge since I was a child. My very first memory of eating fudge was hers. It is amazing!! So rich! Fudge is one of her favorites and that would also be why I love it so much too!! 🙂

  • Sylvia

    FUDGE! chocolaty goodness!!! 🙂 My first memory of eating fudge was when I was 9yrs old. I helped my grandma make my very first batch.

  • Oh I love Fudge!! My mom has a fantastic recipie that’s very easy, but she would only make it on special occasions… meaning daddy got it as a gift every birthday and fathers day! So I suppose my early memories of eating fudge are eating daddy’s birthday present!

    We went to Mackinac Island for our honeymoon last year…this fudge is yummy!

  • Tiffany

    My first experience with fudge is making it with my mom at Christmas time which has become a tradition in my family now to make it with my girls. LOVE that stuff!

  • Lauren

    My first memory of fudge was getting it at Kilwin’s in St Armands Square when we visited my grandparents in Florida. I still love it!

  • Abby

    There is a playhouse in Wyoming called the playbill…during intermission they sold fudge, which made the drive from Idaho worth it. Bet you all want to go to Wyoming now!

  • ShellyCake

    I have always been a fan of mint. When I was little my Mom made a batch of fudge using mint chips and oh my gosh… I was in heaven! Now that I am grown I cannot find these special mint chips. 🙁 But fudge is still one of my favorite treats!!

  • My first memory is rather a recent one, having fudge at the Houston Zoo on a rare cold day. I love the sweet and salty melt in your mouth fudge experience.

  • mmm….fudge!

  • kate

    My favorite memory is making fudge on holidays with my mom.My job was to stir and taste the stuff we would add nuts fruit and marshmellos, orange rinds.then into the fridge and magic would happen! MY wonderful mom has be gone for awhile so thankyou for this wonderful memory!

  • Fudge is just one of those things that the world is better because of! I know the first time I had it was at Christmas time. I love homemade choc. fudge but at the beach candy shop I always get penuche!

  • Myndi

    Melts in your Mouth and you cant get enough.. by the time you look down it is all gone. First time was when i visited the keys one summer and there was a fudge shop and i couldnt get enough of it.

  • Alexia

    My 11 year old daughter loves to bake. One of the first things we made together when she was little was a Martha Stewart Kids fudge recipe for Christmas Gifts.

  • Danielle

    Oh FUDGE! Yes please! I love it sooo much… My grandma makes THE BEST peanut butter fudge in the world. It was the first fudge I ever had, and tho I’ve sampled many since, none have come close to her’s. Its perfect! Its solid, but once your fingers warm it a bit, it gets soft and melty and oh. so. goooooooood.

  • Katie

    Fudge has to be at the top of my list of favorite “sweets”. Every year we make that Marshmallow fluff fudge for Christmas. Sometimes my mom tries to surprise me and make it just for me as a special treat…but I always suspect that she did it. : )

  • liliana

    ¡Hola Amy!, el mejor dulce de azúcar de la Argentina son los caramelos de dulde de leche. Estos don gordos y cuadrados, así los comíamos de chicos, algunos son imposibles de morder, ya que te quitarían los dientes de lugar ja ja, y se dejan desleir en la boca. Otros, en cambio, se cortan apenas se muerden y esparcen su sabor en la boca mmmm, imposible parar. Vienen solos o mezclados con chocolate, nueces, maní etc. Tenemos miles de recetas para hacer caseros y regalar envueltos en papel celofán. ¡Quiero ese chocolate!

  • American fudge is different from what you get elsewhere. American fudge is a different texture and not as firm. What the Scots call tablet is what the rest of us call fudge.

  • can I just say… y u m !

    LOL

  • Amy A

    Well, since I grew up in northern Michigan, I remember going to Mackinaw Island and loving Murdick’s Fudge! The tourisits were affectionately referred to as, “fudgies”. Lol.

  • Cheryl Warren

    Fudge is AWESOME!! Make it with pecans? Even better!

  • Kelly W

    I love making (and eating) fudge!! It is a Christmas tradition in my family to make fudge, and lately, we’ve been experimenting with different flavors like peanut butter…yum!

  • dkelmore

    Deep dark chocolate fugde…whats not to love. My mother use to make fudge for us kids as we decorated our christmas tree. It was always a surprise to see if it cooled just enough to pour out onto the buttered dish or if we had to dig it out of the pan a spoonfull at a time. Either way, we love it!

  • Fiona

    Oh the joy of fudgey melt-in-you-mouth nomminess! My first encounter with fudge was on my 8th grade Washington DC trip. I bought a box thinking to share with family when I returned home…. it was all gone within the hour.

  • liliana

    Corrección de mensaje: ¡Hola Amy!, el mejor dulce de azúcar de la Argentina son los caramelos de dulce de leche. Estos son gordos y cuadrados, así los comíamos de chicos, algunos son imposibles de morder, ya que te quitarían los dientes de lugar ja ja, y se dejan desleir en la boca. Otros, en cambio, se cortan apenas se muerden y esparcen su sabor en la boca mmmm, imposible parar. Vienen solos o mezclados con chocolate, nueces, maní etc. Tenemos miles de recetas para hacer caseros y regalar envueltos en papel celofán. ¡Quiero ese chocolate!

  • Anne M.

    I have so many memories of fudge. The gooey, melt-in-your-mouth texture is hard to forget. My grandparents used to take me for fudge when I was little. It was almost like a treasure hunt to find a place that had it, no matter where we were. Somehow I always ended up with just as much on my face and fingers as in my belly 🙂

  • I think that Mackinac Island fudge IS my first memory of fudge! We went on our first vacation there when I was maybe 6 or so.

  • Evan

    I distinctly remember having my first fudge tasting as a child in Vermont. The back room of Mother Myrick’s Bakery smelled like fudge as soon as you walked in and there were always fudge samples out front. I begged my parents to allow me to have a bigger piece and they did. I’ve loved fudge ever since.

  • Amanda

    I love fudge and I LOve Mackinac Island!

  • Fudge….especially Murdick’s is my favorite!!! My family and I have been vacationing to Michigan for years…and the fudge is always a highlight. Myself, my sister and 2 brothers always got to pick our own flavor of fudge!! You’d have to hide your box in a secret place so no one else ate yours!
    :)Marie

  • Fudge OMG!!!!! i start when i was 5 years

  • Jon & Sheree

    We love fudge! Jon’s grandparents own The Hester House in downtown Silver City and they make some amazing fudge there 🙂

  • Kim

    I don’t even remember when I had my first fudge. My mom has been making “fantasy fudge” at holidays for as long as I can remember!!

  • I love how creamy fudge is…it just melts in your mouth! My first memories of fudge are when my parents’ would take us to a chocolate shop in the West End and let us watch them make fudge. The best part was when they let you taste it in the end…so much fun!

  • My dad grew up on a 100 acre farm in GA. I have many fond memories of growing up at the farm, eating the veggies grown, fishing, horse back riding, picking blackberries in my granddaddy’s copper pails he crafted, watching the men take sugar cane and turn in into sorghum molasses in the field behind the barn…my grandaddy was an amazing candy maker. Fudge is one of my very first memories and to this day, I think of the farm every time I eat fudge. Great. Now I need fudge.

  • Heather A.

    Oh my goodness fudge is my favorite treat ever! My first memory of it was when I was a little girl visiting my grandma in San Diego and we went to the San Diego County fair and she bought a pound of plain chocolate fudge. It was delicious and I kept sneaking into the drawer where she kept it to eat little bits because she would only let me have a small piece once a day and I wanted more!

  • chatelaine

    FUDGE!!! my first experience was with my french Grandmother’s maple recipe…….. i still make it to this day for her now and we never share her recipe 🙂

  • Rebecca Ortiz

    My first memory involves Murdick’s actually. They have stores on Martha’s Vineyard and before I moved here we would visit for day trips to the island. We walked around Edgartown in the summer sun with the peanut butter and chocolate fudge melting on our fingers…

  • Karyn

    My first memory of eating fudge is at home. My Dad used to make home made fudge quite often.
    I was a lucky girl!

  • I am a girl with a sweet tooth! Fudge satisfies that perfectly! My first memory of having fudge is, funnily enough, on Mackinac Island here in Michigan. I was 5 and it was our first trip to the Island. As we strolled thru the shops in town, we went into each and every fudge shop (Murdick’s included) and sampled all the flavors. Each delicious offering was handed over the counter on a tiny plastic knife. Little bits of heaven, I thought!

  • Ruthie

    I love fudge or “pudge” as my neice would say when she was about two… and rightly named so! I love plain rich chocolate as my great aunt would make around the holidays.

  • Katherine

    Loved eating my grandmothers fudge. She made the best.

  • Stephanie Barrick

    I love fudge because of the creamy, chocolate texture. I like it with and without nuts! My first memories of fudge would be Christmastime at my Grandma’s house. She love Christmas and made a variety of homemade candies for us to snack on all day long, including fudge. Now-a-days my sister-in-law brings fudge (chocolate, peanut butter, etc…) to the holiday gathering. I’ve yet to taste BAD fudge!

  • Fudge is the best – solid, but not to hard and I love the array of flavors you can get. Fudge is one of those nostalgic treats where you can go to the candy shop and buy it by the pound and watch them cut it up for you – it’s a delightful experience!

  • Aubrey W.

    I love fudge because it reminds me of my dad. Every holiday I buy my dad fudge. And every time I see fudge for sale, I think of him. I love that fudge comes in so many flavors, and they’re all delicious!

  • I can’t remember the first time I had fudge, but I do remember some chocolate and peanut butter fudge I had while in Ireland last year. The fudge was great and every since then, whenever I have fudge, I think of that trip.

  • Tonya

    I love fudge because it tastes just so darned good, but because it reminds me of my Grannie. My earliest memories (and most of them too) surround Christmas and Grannie. She would make batches and batches of creamy, delicious fudge at Christmas time. When I was 11, my cousins & I made her a paper crown and named her the Fudge Queen. I now make fudge at Christmas, but it never turns out as good as the Fudge Queen’s.

  • Fudge is THE perfect consistency – sweet with depth. my first memory is from Callie’s in Rehoboth Beach. Look forward to re-creating during summer vacation!

  • Dawn Muller

    cause fudge is yummy!

  • stephanie campbell

    My earliest memory of eating fudge is at the holidays when my mom would make homemade fudge and I always got to lick the spoon. Still can recall the taste of the warm, soft fudge on my tongue.

  • Kerry Talyat

    Who doesn’t like fudge?!? My first real memory of eating fudge is actually on a family trip to the Wisconsin Dells. We were walking through their downtown area (with all the candy shops) and got to watch them make fudge… and then sample! YUM!